Thursday 8 December 2016

Girl (14) 'turned to drink' in bid to forget sexual abuse she suffered at hands of stepfather, court hears

David Raleigh

Published 29/07/2015 | 18:09

Girl (14) 'turned to drink' in bid to forget sexual abuse she suffered at hands of stepfather, court hears
Girl (14) 'turned to drink' in bid to forget sexual abuse she suffered at hands of stepfather, court hears

A girl has said she "cried myself to sleep" and "turned to drink" to try to forget sexual abuse at the hands of her step father, Limerick Circuit Court heard today.

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The man who cannot be named admitted kissing the 14-year old girl on a couch in her mother's house around five years ago.

However, the 60-year old maintained the girl crept onto the couch while he was asleep and started to fondle his penis.

The man, who was on strong medication at the time, later admitted to Gardai he always knew it was the girl who was on the couch with him, despite initially saying he thought it was his partner.

The man, who was not known to Gardai prior to the incident, also admitted having an erection during the incident.

The court heard there would have been no case against the man without his confession.

After the girl's mother confronted him in 2011, he voluntarily went to gardai and told them his version of events.

In a victim impact statement, the girl said: "It affected my sleep. At night I would twist and turn, it played in my mind 24/7, it never left me."

"At night I would cry myself to sleep, other than that I turned to drink, that was most nights, it helped me forget," she added.

"I lost total confidence in myself with everything. The only answer to me was to drink and forget it for a while, so I went heavy on the drink."

The girl said she felt "numb and empty" and went from being "a happy person to a dark place".

She said she felt "embarrassed" and "ashamed" and had attended counselling at the Rape Crisis Centre in Limerick.

The girl said she is "still not comfortable around men in general".

Mark Nicholas, BL, defending, said the man had taken "a significant opiate or painkiller" at the time, which, he said, doctors agreed may have been a mitigating factor in the man's behaviour.

"Without him there would be no case," Mr Nicholas said.

Judge Tom O'Donnell remanded the man on bail for sentencing on October 2 pending a probation report.

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